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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Sunday, August 24, 2014

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Alberto Contador on the Vuelta's First Stage

Surprising a lot of observers, Alberto Contador hung in with his team during the Vuelta's first stage team time trial, and in fact contributed to the team's effots. Here's what he had to say, via the team's post stage press release:

Tinkoff-Saxo finished 7th, 19 seconds behind the winning team [Movistar], on the opening team time trial in Jerez. Alberto Contador made a positive assessment of his and the team’s performance in the first time trial of this year’s Vuelta a Espana.

“I think it’s a good result. The distance up to Movistar is only 19 seconds, but more than that, I'm happy because I could keep up with my teammates. I was able to participate in the work during the race and it’s a good sign that I had no pain in my knee. I was really looking forward to the start of the race and the time differences are not significant. From now, I'll go day by day and see what will happen”, Contador said after finishing the stage.

The 12,6 kilometer team time trial featured a technical parcours in the Andalusian city of Jerez. Alberto explained that many riders probably weren’t prepared to risk too much on the tricky sections.  

“It was a complicated time trial. If it had rained it would have been practically impossible. It was a time trial that demanded respect with slippery asphalt in the roundabouts after a period without rain, with petrol and diesel from the cars. So I'm happy we avoided any problems. I'm also satisfied because I saw the whole team working well, they were really concentrated, and that motivates me”, explains Alberto Contador and adds:

“We will see on stage 2, if there will be any wind. We have to be attentive and stay in the front so we don’t lose time, but above all to prevent crashes, which is what worries me the most during this first week in regard to my attempt to recover so I can do the final part of the Vuelta as I want”, concludes the leader of Tinkoff-Saxo.

BMC on Tejay Van Garderen's Stage Win at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Here's the press release from BMC after Tejay van Gardeen's's masterful ride on the Vail time trail course:

BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen shattered his own course record in the Vail time trial Saturday to win his second stage of the USA Pro Challenge and increase his overall lead with a day of the race to go.

Racing his BMC timemachine TM01 through rainy, cool conditions, van Garderen clocked a time of 24:26 on the 16.1-kilometer course. That bettered – by more than half-a-minute – the 25:01 he rode to in winning the same stage a year ago. The defending champion was 53 seconds better than runner-up Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) and 68 seconds faster than third-placed Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis). "I was helped by a pretty stiff tailwind, but mainly it was just experience that was the difference," van Garderen said. "I have raced this course three times now and both other times I blew up near the end. In 2011, it was really bad and last year was better, but not perfect. This time, I think I was perfect." Van Garderen also won the Stage 3 summit finish at Monarch Mountain Wednesday, giving him a race record-tying four career stage wins. He is also on the verge of becoming the USA Pro Challenge's first repeat winner. "It was really a great day to see Tejay crush it and defend his lead and then extend it as much as he did," BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said.

With only Sunday's Boulder-to-Denver road race to go, van Garderen leads Danielson by 1:32 and Tvetcov by 1:45. "I don't want to say I have it in the bag, but I am pretty relaxed going into tomorrow knowing there is not really much anyone can do to take this away from me," van Garderen said. Making Saturday all the more special, he said, was the performance of his teammates to regain the lead in the team classification. Ben Hermans finished sixth on the day while Peter Stetina was the next BMC Racing Team rider, in 23rd, to overtake Garmin-Sharp by 64 seconds. "I told everyone this morning that we were 11 seconds down and we all needed to go out and give it a good ride," van Garderen said. "Now it is not just me up there on the podium. We all get to go up there and spray the champagne. Cycling is a team sport, but a lot of times it is just one individual who gets the glory. So getting the team GC is really special."

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